RT Blog

Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wishing all RTs a very Happy New Year!! from the RT Blog.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 ATRA Awards

In the November-December ATRA Newsletter the 2007 ATRA Awards winners are listed. Three of the most prestigous awards are for the Outstanding Professional, Scholarly Achievement, and Distinguished Fellow. This year's recipients seem particularly worthy.

Outstanding Professional Award went to Charlie Dixon. Most know Charlie as an excellent RT and as the leading innovator in the use of the web for RT.

Cathy Coyle received the award for Scholarly Achievement. Cathy, a professor at Temple, has long been known as an outstanding RT scholar.

Sharon Nichols was named a Distinguished Fellow. This is ATRA's highest award, which Sharon certainly deserves for her leadership at the state and national levels.

Each year I am pleased by the outstanding group of ATRA award winners. Just reading over the list serves to verify what exceptional individuals we have within RT. I would encourage RT colleagues to begin to think about making nominations for the 2008ATRA awards.

ATRA Newsletter Now Online

ATRA has announced the ATRA Newsletter – November/December 2007 is now online for your convenience.

Expanded newsletter (20 pages) with up to date information.

CEU test worth .1 CEU for reading the newsletter (cost $10 transcript fee).

In this issue:

2007 ATRA Annual Conference
2007 ATRA Award Recipients
Membership dues announcement and new payment plan
2007 Higher Education Institute
2007 Audio Program Discount through 1/31/08
Annual in TR, Volume 17 Call for Papers
MS Related Fatigue
MDS 3.0 Update
Autism Society and TR
Treatment Network Updates

Go to: http://www.atra-tr.org/members/newsletter.htm to view the newsletter today! Don’t forget – you will need your ATRA username and password.

Friday, December 28, 2007

ATRA Update on Medicare Bill

The following was recently transmitted from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association:

TO: All Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS)
FROM: G.T. Thompson, Co-Chair - Recreational Therapy Medicare Project (RTMP)
SUBJECT: H.R. 4248 Update


As you know ATRA’s House Bill, H.R. 4248 “The Ensuring Medicare Access To Recreational Therapy Act Of 2007” has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives.

Recreational Therapy professionals, consumers, students and other supportive individuals have been doing a great job of contacting Congress throughout the nation to request members of Congress to sign on as H.R. 4248 Bill Sponsors.

CURRENT STATUS: We have the Sponsor and 11 Cosponsors
officially listed as of December 21, 2007.

These Members of Congress that have signed-on include:

Rep Tauscher, Ellen O. [CA-10] (introduced 11/15/2007)
Rep Boucher, Rick [VA-9] - 12/12/2007
Rep Carnahan, Russ [MO-3] - 12/17/2007
Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9] - 12/17/2007
Rep English, Phil [PA-3] - 11/15/2007
Rep Etheridge, Bob [NC-2] - 12/5/2007
Rep Gordon, Bart [TN-6] - 12/5/2007
Rep Peterson, John E. [PA-5] - 12/17/2007
Rep Rahall, Nick J., II [WV-3] - 12/11/2007
Rep Rehberg, Dennis R. [MT] - 12/12/2007
Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18] - 12/11/2007
Rep Wamp, Zach [TN-3] - 12/12/2007

Accessing the Library of Congress web site at THOMAS.gov and entering 4248 under the Legislation in Current Congress search function can obtain the current status of H.R. 4248.


H.R. 4248 Dear Colleague Letter Circulated

A “Dear Colleague” Letter circulated last week to all 435 Congressional Offices by Representative Tauscher and Representative English.

Medicare Bill passes that includes many temporary Medicare fixes / extensions, but not Recreational Therapy clarification

A slimmed-down Medicare package was passed that essentially pushes everything off until next year to address all over again. On Tuesday December 18th, the Senate passed this bill by unanimous consent and the House also passed the bill.

The final Medicare package leaves all NEW policies on the cutting room floor for now including the provisions of the “The Ensuring Medicare Access To Recreational Therapy Act Of 2007”.

The passed Bill includes a temporary update to the Medicare physician fee schedule and a number of simple extensions of existing policies that would expire if Congress did not pass this bill, particularly in the area of rural health provisions.

A whole host of policy provisions, including our Recreational Therapy coverage clarification, needs your advocacy over the course of the first six months of the new year. Because most of the provisions of this most recent Medicare Bill are only temporary, Congress will be required to take additional Medicare related action within the next six months. This provides us an excellent opportunity to build more support for H.R. 4248!


Continue to request that your United States Member of Congress (U.S. House of Representatives) sign-on as a co-sponsors. There is no time limit at this point.

Please be sure to emphasize:

CMS (Medicare) has verbally commented that this is zero budget and they would not oppose the language that we have had introduced.
This is about consumers getting access to services that are already being paid for by Medicare under the inpatient prospective payment systems..

Please keep Lisa Morgan updated at lmorgan@siskinrehab.org when your House member agrees to co-sponsor.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Medicare Bill Update

This message was posted on the RTI listserve by Vicki Scott, MS, CTRS, of the ATRA Board of Directors:

Update on the Medicare Project: HR4248, The Ensuring Medicare Access to Recreational Therapy Act of 2007, now has 11 co-sponsors. Sadly, none of these are from Indiana. Please continue to call, fax or e-mail your representative in the House. If you have any questions about this project or the bill, you can find all the information on the ATRA website at www.atra-tr.org or feel free to contact me. Thanks.

Vicki Scott, MS, CTRS
Program Manager
Hook Rehabilitation Center
317-355-3843 phone
317-351-5476 fax
904-4202 pager

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! -- from the RT Blog.

Positive Affect & Health

Positive affective styles have been relatively ignored in the health literature. Today there is interest in positive affect and health. An article by that title appeared in Current Directions in Psychological Science in 2006 (Vol. 15, pages 122-125).

I am not aware of RT faculty writing and researching in the area of positive affect and health -- but the topic would seem to be a logical one for RT scholars.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hayes Not Retiring at Tennessee

I just heard from Professor Gene Hayes. He has headed the University of Tennessee's TR program for a number of years. Gene told me that while Tennessee is advertising an opening for a TR faculty member, he is not retiring.

It is great news for the profession that a new TR faculty position has been created at Tennessee. It will also great for the new faculty that Gene will be on hand to mentor him or her.

I would encourage those interested to contact Gene about the position opening at Tennessee. His contact information follows.

For information about the position and TR at Tennessee:
Gene A. Hayes, PhD, CTRS
Recreation and Leisure Studies Program
Department of Exercise, Sport and Leisures Studies
The University of Tennessee
1914 Andy Holt Avenue
Knoxville, Tn 37996-2700

Monday, December 17, 2007

Google Yourself -- 47% Do

An article in today's newspaper stated that 47% of us have Googled ourselves. Having read this, of course, I had to go to my computer to Google myself. When I used my middle initial the first thing to come up was a nice piece on me that colleague Bryan McCormick had written upon my retirement -- but there was little other good information on me -- mostly people trying to sell some of my textbooks. When I only Googled my first and last names most of the information was on roses! I don't think I'll be Googling myself much in the future!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Journal of Interest to RTs

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) recently announced the organization will publish a new journal titled Disability and Health Journal. For information go to http://www.ees.elsevier.com/dhjo

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

University of Tennessee Opening

College of Education, Health and Human Sciences
Knoxville, Tennessee


Position: Assistant Professor (Recreation and Leisure Studies) in the Department of Exercise, Sport and Leisure Studies (nine month tenure-track position beginning August 1, 2008)

Qualifications: Required: Earned Doctoral Degree in Recreation and/or Leisure Studies with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation by time of appointment. The applicant should have a commitment to developing a research agenda that contributes to the mission of the program area. The ability to engage in interdisciplinary collaborative efforts; effective interpersonal and communication skills. Desired: University teaching experience; community service; and national certification as CTRS and/or CPRP.

Responsibilities: Teach undergraduate and graduate courses in therapeutic recreation and the required core, advise undergraduate and graduate students and develop a line of scholarly inquiry that results in refereed publications; pursue external funding to support research, conduct applied work with special populations.

University: Designated a Carnegie doctoral/research extensive university, UT is the oldest, largest and most comprehensive institution of higher education in Tennessee. Academic programs on the Knoxville campus enroll approximately 20,000 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students. Detailed information about the University of Tennessee may be obtained by visiting the Web site:

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application Process: The review of the applications will begin February 1, 2008 and will continue until the position is filled. Submit a letter of application addressing the required and desired qualifications as stated in the position announcement, a curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references to the chair of the search committee.

Contact Person: Direct all correspondence to: Dr. Dennie Kelley, RLS Search Committee Chair, Department of Exercise, Sport and Leisure Studies. 1914 Andy Holt Avenue. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-2700. (865)974-3340.Fax (865) 974-8981.

For information about the position and TR at Tennessee:
Gene A. Hayes, PhD, CTRS
Recreation and Leisure Studies Program
Department of Exercise, Sport and Leisures Studies
The University of Tennessee
1914 Andy Holt Avenue
Knoxville, Tn 37996-2700

Medicare RT Act Needs Support

This ACTION ALERT UPDATE was received from G.T.Thompson,Co-Chair of ATRA's Recreational Therapy Medicare Project. It concerns House Bill 4248. Your action is needed. Please read on:

As you know ATRA’s House Bill, H.R. 4248 “The Ensuring Medicare Access To Recreational Therapy Act Of 2007” has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives.

Recreational Therapy professionals, consumers, students and other supportive individuals have been doing a great job of contacting Congress throughout the nation to request members of Congress to sign on as H.R. 4248 Bill Sponsors.

Congress is NOT in recess right now. They are actively working on Medicare legislation and expect to be in session well into December unless negotiations on a number of major bills break down.

While it is possible that the Medicare debate spills over into January or February of next year, there is no guarantee that there will not be some action in December.

We need to keep pressing. The House strategy is to get as many House Members as possible to add their names as cosponsors of our bill.

Anything you can do to get Members to sign on sooner rather than later would be optimal.

Exercise & People with Disabilities

From the December, 2007, NCPAD Newletter:

Aerobic exercise has many physiological benefits, and recent research has provided evidence that it may also have beneficial effects on cognitive function, as was found in a sample of people with multiple sclerosis. Although not well-studied in the research literature, there is some evidence that aerobic dance can increase cardiovascular endurance in people with disabilities. Cluphf and colleagues (2001) found that a 12-week, 3-day-per-week, low-impact aerobic dance program significantly improved cardiovascular endurance and function in a group of 15 adults with intellectual disabilities as compared to a control group who did not exercise. The dance sessions began with a 5-minute stretching warm-up and then a 12-minute aerobic dance portion that was increased by 1 minute every session until participants were completing 30 minutes of continuous dance. The dance moves included marching, punching, and side-stepping in addition to movement to songs such as "The Twist," "The Swim," and "The Locomotion." The sessions ended with a 5- to 10-minute cool-down of slow movements and stretches. Participants in the aerobic dance program demonstrated cardiovascular endurance improvement in addition to improved speed during timed walking tests.

So, during this holiday season, as you are contemplating how you can begin an exercise program that will offer the ability to improve your health and decrease your risk for secondary conditions, consider forms of dance that, depending on music and choreography, can include creative, modern, and more traditional styles of dance. By customizing the type of dance you perform, you may be more likely to maintain this exercise because of the variety of options.


Cluphf, D., O’Connor, J., & Vanin, S. (2001). Effects of aerobic dance on the cardiovascular endurance of adults with intellectual disabilities. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 18, 60-71.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Assistant Professor Opening at EWU

Eastern Washington University's College of Education and Human Development is pleased to announce an opening for an Assistant Professor, tenure-track faculty position in the Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation, beginning fall quarter 2008.

Responsibilities: Eastern is a regional, comprehensive university that expects all faculty to demonstrate teaching excellence, professional growth and service to the university, profession, and the community. The candidate will teach undergraduate courses in Therapeutic Recreation, General Recreation and
related areas. The successful candidate will serve as the advisor for all declared majors in the Therapeutic Recreation program, recruit majors, and meet accreditation and certification standards. The successful candidate is expected to develop and maintain strong community and clinical relationships, serve on Department, College and University committees, as well as maintaining an active role in the professional organization, develop a focused line of research and seek extramural funding for research or programs. Starting date: September 2008

Qualifications: Earned doctorate in Therapeutic Recreation or related field, by starting date, required. Two years clinical experience as a CTRS; evidence of effective teaching and advising in higher education; evidence of scholarly activities in basic research, preferred. Preference will be given to candidates who can contribute to the teaching and research agenda of a multidisciplinary department that also includes physical education, community health, exercise science, and athletic training, and who have an interest in and potential for collaboration with university-wide multidisciplinary programs. The candidate must have a wellness lifestyle that reflects the philosophy of the PEHR Department. Certification as a “CTRS” through National Council on Therapeutic Recreation, required.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Please send letter of application, vitae, and three letters of recommendation addressing teaching and research abilities, samples of professional work (including any recent publications) to:

Office of the Dean, Attn: M. Dreis, College of Education and Human Development, 213 Martin Hall, Cheney, WA 99004-2422. (E-mail: mdreis@mail.ewu.edu; Fax: 509-359-4822)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

ATRA Offers Lifetime Advocate Membership

I just received information from ATRA regarding an innovative approach to membership. Members may become "lifetime members" of ATRA for $1000.00, plus a $25 annual maintenance fee. Thus a member will become an ATRA Lifetime Advocate.

This seems like a great idea for all. The promotion should bring in revenue to ATRA at a time it is badly needed and members who become Lifetime Advocates can display a commitment to their national organization and their profession.

I should warn you that when I attempted to print the initial information ATRA sent out that the information didn't fit on the printed page and the form at the bottom printed out too dark to use. Perhaps ATRA will revise the form to make it more "printer friendly."

Monday, December 03, 2007

Chair Open at IU

Full Professor and Chair
Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies

School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation

The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana is searching for a Full Professor and Chair with a degree in one of the following disciplines: recreation, park resources and/or leisure sciences. Experience in environmental health sciences would add to an already diverse department that supports the Dean in furthering the School’s research mission. The Department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral, in areas of Park and Recreation Management, Therapeutic Recreation, Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management, Recreational Sport Management, Tourism Management, and Leisure Behavior.

The Chair will provide leadership for research, teaching, and service; develop an emphasis on environmental health sciences; manage budget, secure financial resources to meet program objectives; actively assist with fundraising activities; and facilitate interaction among faculty, staff, students, and alumni. It is expected that the successful candidate will work closely with the Dean to further the School’s goals and research mission for the School. Candidates for the position must hold a doctoral degree in one of the specialty areas listed above and possess a record of demonstrated scholarly achievement, an ability to collaborate across disciplines, significant administrative experience, and national/international professional service sufficient for a tenured appointment at the Full Professor rank. Salary is competitive depending upon qualifications and experience. The position will be available July 1, 2008. Applications received by
February 1, 2008 will receive full consideration. Please send cover letter, curriculum vita, and three letters of recommendation to:

Dean Robert M. Goodman, Ph.D., MPH
c/o Margi Lockhart, Director of Human Resources
School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation
Indiana University
1025 East 7th Street, HPER 121B
Bloomington, IN 47405-4801